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Low O2 sats


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Old 12-17-2011, 07:18 PM   #1
Chris042
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Low O2 sats

Ok, so I was diagnosed with asthma about 3 years ago in November of 2008 after 4 months of bronchitis. No chest x-rays. Did have a spirometry with bronchodilater that was used to make the diagnosis. Started inhalers, Advair (which worked wonderfully, but was too expensive) and then Flonase which does not seem to do anything. Also albuterol. I have had flair ups or bronchitis or something at least 8 times this year. It seems like I get better for 2 or 3 weeks and then I am sick again, and each time it lasts about 2 to 3 weeks.

I have an appointment to see a new doctor on Thursday who is an internist who specializes in pulmonary diseases. My new problem is this. I have an 02 Sat checker at home because I was waking up at night very short of breath. Usually not when I first wake up but 2 to 3 minutes after getting out of bed. I was not sure if I really was or if it was all in my head so I borrowed an 02 checker from my aunt. It shows that my oxygen is dropping, sometimes as low as 75%. Usually in the middle of the night or anytime I sleep for a little bit. Today I couldn't even draw a breath to make a complete sentence. However, when I take my inhaler or neb, I always come back up, almost immediately to 93% or so, and then eventually, when I do not have an upper respiratory problem to, to 97 or so.

My mom thinks that when this happens I should be on my way to the ER. I think that since it is correctable with home treatments, ER is not needed. Just curious what everyone else thinks. It is quite scary at the time it happens, but it is usually over within 10 minutes or so. Tonight, I still do not feel well, a little hazy and tired (but then I just started a night shift at work so that could and probably is the tired). Chest feels tight and coughing with a headache, but my oxygen sats are showing 93%, which I assume are pretty good. I am not wheezing tonight.

 
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Old 12-18-2011, 02:18 PM   #2
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Re: Low O2 sats

Low 02 sats are a sign of a pretty badly advanced asthma attack. And sats of 73%, along with inability to speak, are classic signs of an emergency. At this point, I'm afraid you'll crash so badly in your sleep that you won't have time to get to your inhaler.

Clearly, you MUST be on a daily controller medicine. Yes, Advair is expensive, as are all the other effective asthma treatments, but we're talking about your life here. The manufacturer does offer financial assistance to patients without drug coverage, and there may be other options. Your doctor may have samples, too.

For now, take your inhaler before you go to sleep. It might help to set an alarm and take it again 4 hours later. This way, your lungs will stay open all night long.

I'm glad you have an appointment. Thursday might be too long to wait, though, if your asthma is this severely flared up. I'm not sure.

 
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Old 12-18-2011, 04:51 PM   #3
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Re: Low O2 sats

Check into buying it from Canada. It's cheaper there.

 
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Old 12-18-2011, 11:31 PM   #4
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Re: Low O2 sats

Thank you for the replies. I am glad I have an appointment to. I have been sick most of this year, and I am tired of it. The Advair is 60 with my insurance. I will probably ask to go back on that, I am in a little better place financially now then I was when it was first prescribed. I wouldn't even know how to go about buying it from Canada, though I would if I could. I think I am okay to wait until Thursday. Actually it is not flared as bad as it has been in the past, considering I just got off antibiotics and steroids again just about 2 weeks ago. I am hoping that this doctor will be able to offer better help.

Anyways, thanks again.

 
Old 12-19-2011, 08:19 PM   #5
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Re: Low O2 sats

Just do a search for "canadian pharmacies" and check pricing at the ones that come up. Follow their procedures (usually fax in the scrip and enter order) and that's that. They ship it to you.

 
Old 12-20-2011, 06:02 PM   #6
blondy2061h
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Re: Low O2 sats

The fact that your o2 sat is dropping during the night but not during the day makes me think that you also have sleep apnea. As previously mentioned, it's rare for o2 sats to drop with asthma without it being a very severe, and prolonged attack.
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Old 12-23-2011, 12:22 AM   #7
Chris042
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Re: Low O2 sats

I had thought of the sleep apnea angle to. The only thing is that my oxygen doesn't drop while I am sleeping, if I take it as soon as I wake up, while I am still lying in bed it will be about 95 to 97. Get up and walk to the bathroom and within 5 minutes I am gasping for air and have droped to 82 or sometimes even lower.

Had my doctor's appointment today. He diagnosed asthma and chronic bronchitis, each exacerbating the other. He did some allergy testing, took a chest x-ray, spirometry (which improved after treatment), and a complete exam. I really liked him, and feel like I got more from him in 1 visit than my other doctor in 2 years. Diagnosed Advair 500/50 to take for a week, then Spirivia to take for a week to see which seems to help better and then see him again in 2 weeks. Flonase to help with nasal congestion, which he thinks is what causes the chronic infections.

Anyway, thank you all for your responses to me I appreciate it.

 
Old 12-26-2011, 06:34 PM   #8
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Re: Low O2 sats

Yes I bought my Advair from Canada...MUCH less.You just have to wait 3 weeks so plan in advance. I use a generic Advair from India,

 
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